Congratulations to Jack Martin, who recently secured a soccer scholarship to Lenoir Rhyne University, North Carolina. We caught up with Jack to reflect on his time with FirstPoint USA and his hopes for the future…
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your sporting background?
I have played football all my life and have represented various teams throughout my childhood and also had a keen interest in swimming, athletics and rugby. Once I turned 16 and started sixth form at my school i signed for Burnham FC youth team in my first year of under 18′s football and then in my second year signed with Maidenhead United youth team where we had a very succesful youth team who did very well, in this season I was chosen to represent Berkshire & Buckinghamshire under 18′s and we won the south and west counties championship, I also captained my school’s first XI in this season. I then Left school and started university, whilst there I began playing men’s football for Uxbridge FC and Chalfont St. Peter FC, I was part of two succesful teams at these clubs winning a league with Uxbridge whilst playing for the reserves. In my second year at university started playing for the University Team and in my last year was chosen to captain a team, whilst at University I was also chosen to represent Middlesex FA men’s representative side and have played against the army and London Amateur FA among other teams.
2. What made you choose FirstPoint USA and are you glad you did?
I was a bit lost for what i wanted to once i graduated university and I knew a few ex team-mates were out in the USA on scholarships and were really enjoying so decided to look into it, after a quick google search Firstpoint came up and I signed up for a trial day. They have been very helpful throughout quite a complicated process and I am very glad i chose them.
3. Were you happy with the FirstPoint process?
The first trial day was fairly hectic but everything was explained thoroughly and gave me a good idea of what to expect, flying up to Glasgow was a fairly daunting experience but John Crawley was very helpful with offering an insight into what would be happening over the coming months as things got sorted. Client games were difficult in that you are playing with lads you don’t know but the standard is quite competitive and provides a good opportunity for footage. The highlight has to have been the showcase in London however which our side went on to win and was a lot better level than I was expecting as everyone tried to impress the visiting coaches. I also had the opportunity to play against a US college side which was a very good eye opener as to what to expect.
4. Were you happy with the offers you received? And what made you choose Lenoir Rhyne?
I initially had my heart set on a division 1 school as I had a few former team mates out there playing for schools in this division and felt I was capable but after many conversations with John Paul (who has been very patient!) was informed that because I would only be eligible for 2 years as i studied my masters it might be difficult to get an offer that worked out as a financially good offer from a school in this division. I received contact from schools in New York, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Tennessee But after conversations with Lenoir Rhyne I was impressed by what the coach hopes to achieve this year and the facilities look fantastic and am very happy with the offer I have accepted.
5. What are you looking forward to the most about heading out to the USA?
Training full time and competing in another country, I am looking forward to the opportunity to really take my football seriously alongside studying for my MBA and to hopefully come back a better player and play at the highest level of football I can.
6. What do you think you’ll miss the most while out there?
Roast Dinners, Nando’s and going to Loftus road!
7. What advice would you have for anyone considering a sports scholarship to the USA?
Do it! The facilities are out of this world compared to what you could expect in this country and I cant wait to get out there.
8. Would you recommend FirstPoint?
Yes, I have played with two lads who have also gone through the company and they, along with myself. Are very happy with where they are studying. The company have been very helpful throughout the process and If it is something you are serious about pursuing Firstpoint can help you do that.
FirstPoint USA would like to thank Jack for taking the time to answer these questions, and wish him the best of luck in his future with soccer!
Do you think you have what it takes to secure a scholarship to study & play in the USA, just like Jack? Apply now for your assessment!